Searches for the missing walker proved 'fruitless'. Photo: Dundonnell MRT

Searches for the missing walker proved 'fruitless'. Photo: Dundonnell MRT

Searches by rescue teams over the weekend have failed to find a missing walker and his dog in the Highlands.

Dundonnell and Torridon Mountain Rescue Teams continued the hunt for Neil Gibson in difficult conditions with a high risk of avalanches.

The body of Mr Gibson’s brother Alan was found by rescuers searching in the area around Achnashellach in Strathcarron.

The two men were reported missing when they failed to return from a walk on Thursday.

A Dundonnell team spokesperson said its members had been searching Fuar Tholl and Sgorr Ruadh on Saturday and an area of hill ground north of Beinn Liath Mhòr on Sunday.

The spokesperson said: “Conditions on both days was full-on winter with considerable avalanche risks.

“Weather conditions on Sunday were particularly challenging with frequent, heavy snow showers. Fifteen team members were deployed each day.”

“Team leader Donald MacRae said: “Sadly [Sunday’s] search proved fruitless despite a strong effort. Heavy snow showers hampered our searches on Sunday, but despite this we managed to search a good area but we were unable to locate the missing person and the dog.

“Our thoughts remain with the Gibson family at this very difficult time.

“As we descended the hill this afternoon we received a call from the police following a call for help from a group of hillwalkers lost on Ben Wyvis. A number of team members were deployed to assist.

“The group managed to make their way off the hill safely.

“As winter conditions persist in the Scottish hills, I would remind hillwalkers and climbers to be well prepared for poor conditions. It is essential that everyone has a map of the area they intend to go into along with a compass, and know how to use it.

“If you are intending to travel over snow or ice then crampons and an ice-axe are a must and again you must know how to use these effectively. Wearing brightly coloured outer garments can help us locate missing people.

“It is also worth knowing that mobile phones may not work when temperatures are well below freezing.

“While mountain rescue teams will always willingly give of their time to help lost or injured climbers, over 90 team members have been out over this weekend across the Scottish Highlands.”

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